Audi, BMW, And Mercedes-Benz Along With Baidu Inc. (BIDU) Gear Up To Bid For Nokia (NOK)’s HERE To Block Google Inc (GOOGL)’s Initiatives
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL) is the target as Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) and a group of German automakers seek to tap Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)’s HERE mapping business. Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz are the high-end automakers that are teaming up to take over a majority stake in HERE, and they are getting help from the Chinese search provider Baidu. The luxury car makers and Baidu have formed a consortium to push forward their HERE buyout agenda and their idea is to frustrate Google’s auto mapping initiatives.
Plot to slow down Google
One of the reasons the automakers are vying for HERE is that they want to stop Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and other U.S. technology companies from taking over control of autonomous car business. People familiar with the German automakers cited a general fear among them stemming from the possibility of Google coming up with a free operating system for the auto industry targeting self-driving cars. Such a development could pose serious challenges to their interest in the autonomous car category.
Nokia to keep small interest in HERE
The consortium of Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Baidu is not seeking a full buyout of HERE. Instead, it is working out a plan that would see Nokia retain a minority interest in the business.
Pulling HERE from U.S. buyers
Although Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have preferred not to comment on the bid to take over HERE, the luxury car makers are said to value HERE at more than $2 billion. The car makers, alongside Baidu, are reportedly nervous about HERE going to a U.S. company. There have been speculations that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Uber are also interested in HERE technology and might bid for the asset.
In a recent development, Facebook signed a deal with Nokia to deploy HERE mapping technology across its various mobile apps.
In the meantime, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is at the center of the attack as automakers fear a scenario where customers will someday be forced to make their purchase decisions for a car based on the operating system on their phone.
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